30 Years of Swan History

Anniversary Report for the Nordic Ecolabel

image of 30 Years of Swan History

This is an account of the Swan label’s first thirty years, written in chronological order with short chapters each illustrating various aspects of the scheme. There are few areas of public life in which there have been so many vague pronouncements as for environmental protection. Perhaps that’s because it’s so easy to agree on the goals, but sohard to find the right solutions and practise what you preach. Here at the Nordic Swan, we’ve done things properly from dayone by setting concrete, measurable environmental performance requirements and turning the environment into a competitive advantage. There have been many conflicts and disagreements, but no one can deny that ecolabelling has led to significant environmental improvements. The Nordic region with its 30 million people is the world’s twelfthlargest economy, and this makes a difference when businesses plan product changes and marketing campaigns. The label is a success far beyond the borders of the Nordic region.

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2001 Sven Thiberg’s reminiscences and challenges

Professor Sven Thiberg was a committed chairman of Ecolabelling Sweden (then SIS Ecolabelling) between 1996 and 2001. He was well qualified for the job through his work on consumer issues at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where he was originally a professor of building sciences already in 1970. He was later a board member in various organizations such as KTH, the International Organization for Standardization ISO, the Swedish Institute for Standards (SIS), Möbelinstitutet and Swedish Form (Swedish Society of Crafts and Design). At the KTH he worked as a Swedish “consumer researcher”. Sven had a wide-ranging commitment. He was appointed to the board in June 1996, when he was in Istanbul as chairman of the international organization “ARC PEACE” (Architects for Peace) and was due to attend the UN conference HABITAT II, which addressed the global housing crisis.

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